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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Best Protein Powders for Women (2019 Guide)

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Are you looking for the best protein powders for women on the market today? This post will help you understand what to look for when buying a protein powder and what to avoid so that you’re fueling your body with the healthiest most natural ingredients. 

Protein is one of the most important nutrients you can eat: it’s essential to healthy muscles, connective tissues, hormones, enzymes, bones, hair and nails. It can help with building muscle and strength, aiding weight loss, keeping your blood sugar stable, and, for women especially: protein is important to keep bones strong and minimize the density loss that can happen due to age.

But all protein sources aren’t healthy, and sometimes it’s hard to get enough healthy protein throughout the day. That is why so many of us might turn to protein powders – which can be a convenient way to get some extra protein! The problem is, most protein powders on the market are high in sugar, contain a laundry list of processed ingredients, have heavy metals, fake sugars, and contain artificial sweeteners and flavors. You’re looking for a healthy protein boost, and instead you’re getting a dose of processed junk. It can be so confusing to figure out what is the best protein powder when you’re standing in front of a large display of protein powders all claiming to be the healthiest one for you.

That’s where this guide comes in! Here are my picks for the best protein powders for women on the market today. Below you’ll find a list of the best protein powders by type (plant based, whey, casein, etc.), and later on in this post I give details on what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to finding the best protein powder for you!

Best Plain Plant Based Protein Powders

truvani vanilla protein powder - best protein powders for women
Truvani Vanilla

Only 5 ingredients, plant-based, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, 100% Organic, Vegan, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Stevia, No Added Sugars and No Heavy Metals. 1 serving has 130 calories, 2g fiber, 20g protein.

truvani chocolate protein powder - best protein powders for women
Truvani Chocolate Protein Powder

Only 5 ingredients, plant-based, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, 100% Organic, Vegan, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Stevia, No Added Sugars and No Heavy Metals. 1 serving has 130 calories, 2g fiber, 20g protein.

Best Plant Based Protein Powders With Superfoods

nutiva plant protein powder - best protein powders for women
Nutiva Plant Protein

Organic, Non-GMO, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Stevia, Has Probiotics and Superfoods Added. 1 serving has 110 calories, 2g fiber, 22g protein.

your super plant protein - best protein powders for women
Your Super

Organic, Non-GMO, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Stevia, Has Probiotics and Superfoods Added. 1 serving has 50 calories, 2g fiber, 9g protein.

Best Whey Protein Powder

natural force whey protein powder - best protein powders for women
Natural Force Whey Protein – Unflavored Variety

Only one ingredient in the unflavored version: Organic Whey Protein. From grass fed cows that graze on pasture year-round. 100% Organic, Non-GMO, Keto and Paleo friendly, American Humane Certified. No artificial sweetners or sugars, 3rd party tested for quality & purity. 1 serving has 100 calories, 0g fiber, 20g protein.

Best Bovine Collagen Protein Powders

collagen peptides - best protein powders for women
Collagen Peptides

Grass-Fed, Non-GMO, Paleo-Friendly, Gluten-Free. Type I and III collagen. 1 serving has 40 calories, 0g fiber, 10g protein.

vital proteins collagen - best protein powders for women
Vital Proteins Collagen

Grass-Fed, Pasture-Raised, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Sugar-Free, Whole 30 approved. Type I and III collagen. 1 serving has 70 calories, 0g fiber, and 18g protein.

Best Marine Collagen Protein

truvani marine collagen - best protein powders for women
Truvani Marine Collagen

Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free. Uses wild-caught, mercury-free fish, Type I, II, and III collagen. Heavy metal free. 1 serving has 54 calories, 0g fiber, 11g protein.

Best Multi-Collagen Protein

wholesome wellness collagen protein - best protein powders for women
Wholesome Wellness

Type I, II, III, V, X collagen. Grass-fed, certified wild (for the fish), 3rd party tested for purity, no added sugars, Organic, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Raw, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Paleo approved. 1 serving has 30 calories, 0g fiber, and 7g protein.

ancient nutrition collagen - best protein powders for women
Ancient Nutrition

Type I, II, III, V, X collagen. Free of antibiotics, growth hormones and chemicals, Keto-friendly, grass-fed/pasture-raised/wild, no added sugars or sweeteners. 1 serving has 35 calories, 0g fiber, 9g protein.

Best Hemp Protein Powder

nutiva hemp protein - best protein powders for women
Nutiva Hemp Protein

Just hemp, no added ingredients. Organic, non-GMO, certified vegan. Note: hemp protein is allergen free, high in omega 3s and easily digested. But it is low in the essential amino acids lysine and leucine. 1 serving has 80 calories, 12g fiber, 11g protein.

Best Peanut Butter Protein Powder

norcal organic peanut butter protein - best protein powders for women
NorCal Organic

100% Organic, Non-GMO, Vegan, One Ingredient, No added sugars or sweeteners. 1 serving has 100 calories, 4g fiber, 11g protein.

naked pb powder - best protein powders for women
Naked PB Powder

One ingredient, Non-GMO, No added sugar, Dairy, Soy, Sugar and Preservative free. 1 serving has 50 calories, 2g fiber, 6g protein.

Best Almond Butter Protein

Barney's Powdered Almond Butter - best protein powders for women
Barney’s Powdered Almond Butter

Non-GMO, one simple ingredient, certified gluten-free. 1 serving has 45 calories and 6g protein.

Best Casein Protein Powder

Naked Casein - best protein powders for women
Naked Casein

Only one ingredient, Non-GMO, Gluten-free, Soy free, No rBGH and No rBST. 1 serving has 110 calories, 0g fiber, 26g protein.

Best Egg White Protein

muscle egg white protein powder - best protein powders for women
Muscle Egg

Certified organic, paleo friendly, keto friendly. 1 serving has 110 calories, 0g fiber, 26g protein.

One Note on Taste: Truvani Vanilla and Truvani Chocolate are sweetened with Monk Fruit, so they taste great on their own (you can mix them with water and drink them plain). The rest of the protein powders on this list are unflavored, so I’d recommend mixing them into other recipes like smoothies, oatmeal, or you can even mix them into pancakes, baked goods, etc.

So what should you be looking for and what should you avoid when it comes to protein powders?

Ingredients to Avoid in Protein Powders for Women:

  • No heavy metals: A recent study done by Consumer Reports discovered that arsenic, lead, cadmim, mercury, and toxins such as BPA were found in many popular protein supplements. These substances should be avoided as they have been linked to cancer, brain damage, and reproductive problems. 
  • No artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners are chemicals. While they don’t contain added calories, they trick your body into craving more sugar or artificial ingredients which then causes you to consume even more calories. They have also been shown to cause addictive tendencies. Artificial sweeteners guise under many names lookout for the following ingredients…
    • Aspartame sold as NutraSweet, Equal, or Sugar Twin,
    • Acesulfame potassium sold as Sunnet or Sweet One
    • Aspartame-acesulfame salt, sold as TwinSweet
    • Neotame, sold under the brand name Newtame.
    • Saccharin, sold as Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin, or Necta Sweet.
    • Sucralose, sold as Splenda
  • No Stevia: While Stevia has been called a natural sweetener, it is still one you should avoid. It’s been linked to causing low blood pressure which is cause for concern for those who are on blood pressure medication. There is also research being conducted that certain naturally occurring chemicals found in Stevia could be linked to genetic mutations and cancer. 
  • No added sugar: Just like you want to avoid artificial sweeteners, you also want to avoid regular added sugar. Sugar is addictive. The more we eat the more we crave. Try finding a protein powder that is naturally sweetened. Monk fruit as a natural sweetener is ok. 
  • No processed isolated soy: Soy isolate protein is derived when the soybean undergoes processing to strip its nutrients and “isolate” the protein. Not only is isolated soy-protein likely GMO, it can have hormonal effects, contain heavy metals, and the method used to isolate the protein can form nitrites which can be carcinogenic.

Qualities to look for in the Best Protein Powders for Women 

All of the best protein powders for women on my list meet these criteria:

  • Organic whenever possible, otherwise grass-fed/non-GMO: Organic protein powders are best since you’ll be less likely to consume harmful pesticide residue. If you’re buying a protein powder that contains dairy or grain look for one that is grass-fed/non-GMO. This means that the livestock was given all organic, hormone and GMO free feed. This means that those hormones, GMOs are not passed down to you through the protein powder.
  • Non GMO-GMOs are genetically engineered crops that are made to be resistant to Round-Up and produce their own insecticide. The challenge is that glyphosate is likely carcinogenic to humans. 
  • No added sugars, no sweeteners, no artificial flavors or ingredients, no preservatives, no soy and heavy-metal tested.
best protein powders for women - assortment of plant based, collagen, whey protein powder options

What are the different Types of Protein Powders for Women?

  • Plant-Based (Plain): These types of protein powders are typically made with pea protein, chia seeds, or other high protein plant sources. The main thing here is to make sure they are tested for heavy metals before using them. Most plant-based protein powders will include a variety of plant proteins so that they contain all 9 essential amino acids (since no one plant protein source has all 9 by itself). Use this if you want a vegan protein option, and want some fiber along with your protein powder.
  • Plant-Based (with Superfoods included): In addition to protein, a plant-based protein powder with superfoods also includes the addition of greens such as moringa, spirulina, alfalfa, spinach, or other superfood fruits and vegetables. Use this if you want a vegan protein option with some healthy greens and antioxidant rich foods included.
  • Whey: Whey protein is one of two proteins that milk is made from. The other being casein. Whey can be separated from casein or formed as a by-product of the cheese making process. It is considered a complete protein source as it contains all 9 amino acids. Whey is low in lactose, and is primarily used to build muscle – it’s a great post-workout supplement. Use this if you are trying to lose weight or build muscle and are ok with dairy.
  • Casein Protein Powder: Casein is another protein found in milk. It also contains all 9 essential amino acids. Casein is typically digested more slowly than whey, so it will keep you fuller longer. Many people also take it before bed to help with work-out/daily recovery while they sleep. Use this if you are trying to lose weight, recover from a workout, and are and are ok with dairy.
  • Bovine Collagen: Bovine collagen is a flavorless powder that is derived from cow hides. It contains mostly Type I and Type III collagen. It can be made into two forms that are suitable for consumption (gelatin and hydrolyzed). It is said to benefit skin, hair, joint, and gut health. Use this if: you are ok with animal protein and want a low-calorie/high protein option that also benefits hair/skin/nails/etc.
  • Marine Collagen: As the name suggests, marine collagen is a flavorless powder made from the skin and scales of fish. It contains mostly Type I collagen, and is great for skin, hair and joints. Use this if: you don’t want to use bovine collagen, are ok with eating fish, and want a low-calorie/high protein option that also benefits hair/skin/nails/etc.
  • Multi-Collagen: Multi-Collagen protein includes hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides, chicken bone broth collagen concentrate, hydrolyzed fish collagen peptides and eggshell membrane collagen, offering collagen Type I, II, III, V and X. It supports healthy hair, skin, nails, gut health, immune health. Use this if: you’re ok with eating animal protein, and want a low-calorie/high protein option that is the most comprehensive with all types of collagen included.
  • Hemp: Hemp is a complete protein that contains all 9 amino acids, fiber, healthy fats, and minerals. It is made by grinding hemp seeds into a fine powder. Use this if: You want a plant based protein that is very high in fiber.
  • Peanut Butter Protein: Peanut butter protein powder is made from roasted peanuts that have been pressed to remove the oil and then ground into a fine powder. What you’re left with is the protein and fiber of the peanut without the monounsaturated fat. Peanut Butter protein is great for adding to smoothies, oatmeal, and typical foods you’d add protein powder to, but it’s also great as a mix-in for curries and stews. Use this if: You want more of a “nutty” flavor to whatever you are adding your protein powder to.
  • Almond Butter Protein: Almond butter protein is made in the same was as peanut butter protein. With the oil being pressed out of the almond you’re left with the protein. Use this if: You want more of a “nutty” flavor to whatever you are adding your protein powder to, but don’t want to use peanuts.
  • Egg White Protein: Egg white protein powder is literally just dried egg whites. It’s lower in carbs than whey protein, and digests at a rate somewhere in between whey and casein. Use this if you are trying to recover from a workout, and don’t want to eat whey or casein.

What is the best protein powder for women in aiding weight loss?

Consuming enough protein is essential when you’re goal is weight loss. Protein helps you feel fuller longer. It helps you build muscle and boost your metabolism. Whey protein has been shown to have the edge when it comes to weight loss. People who consumed whey protein at breakfast, compared to those that consumed other types of protein such as eggs, tuna, or soy lost more weight (about 4 pounds on average) over the course of 6 months. 

Whey is best for weight loss because it contains higher amounts of leucine (one of the amino acids) that helps build muscle. It also aids in muscle recovery. Potentially this helps individuals return to the gym which also aids in weight loss. 

While there are many different types of protein powders on the market, you can’t go wrong with any of the protein powders on this list. Depending on whether you’re looking for a plant-based option, or a protein to aid in weight loss, or something to help with hair/skin health, this guide will help you to find the best protein powder for you! I hope this post helped point you in the right direction of a protein powder that’s best for your diet and needs!

Check out these other healthy food / grocery store guides!

4 responses to “Best Protein Powders for Women (2019 Guide)”

  1. Hi! My son who is turning 4 has never been a huge milk drinker. What are your thoughts on orgain kids for protein? Also what do you recommend for protein in take and also calcium for his age? Thank you!

    • Hi Karen! Kids aged 4-8 need about 19 grams of protein per day, and 1,000 mg of calcium a day. I wouldn’t recommend Orgain Kids – it has 13g sugar per serving – more than a fun sized Milky Way bar! Way way too much for kids. Instead, I’d try Earthshake Organic Protein which is a much healthier option that has 140 calories and 8g protein per serving (the same amount of protein per serving as the Orgain Kids drink you asked about)! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. This is an amazing evaluation! Thank you for taking the time to research and share.

    Will you present a sequel on the taste, please?
    It could be a few people’s opinions or some general description. If it doesn’t taste good, I don’t drink it. I’m not alone in this desire for practical application.

    Perhaps a suggestion of 1/2 banana, avacado, or other healthy flavors might be welcomed in an opinion poll. Most healthy protein powders are on the pricey side adding reservation with not knowing how it tastes.
    Thank you for your consideration..

    • Hi MaryAnne! I’m so glad this was helpful to you! Regarding taste – that’s a great point – I’d recommend mixing all of these into smoothies, oatmeal or other recipes. I added some notes about taste and recommendations for mixing in the post so hopefully that helps! Thanks!

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